10 Ways To Get Organized For Back To School

Homeschool families and traditional school families have one very important thing in common this time of year. We are all getting ready for that back to school rush. Although a lot of how we prepare may be different, many things we need to do are strikingly similar. Here are 10 things to do to help get organized for the new school year.

1. Deal with last year's chaos. Although I recommend taking care of all clutter and paperwork that involves school when the school year ends- some things just left out. Make sure all of the paperwork from last year is handled before you start preparing for this year.

2. Take Assessment of Closets, Backpacks, and School Supplies. Before you head out shopping for all the latest and greatest, find out what your child has. Empty closets, bins, and drawers; have your child try EVERYTHING on, and assess it for damage. Same goes for backpacks and other school supplies. Make a list of the supplies you have and the clothing your child needs- you will have a much better experience shopping now.

3. Schedule any last appointments. Did you get all of your child's yearly/ twice-yearly appointments in over the summer? If not, go ahead and schedule those physicals, check-ups, dental exams, and eye appointments in the weeks before school starts- then they won't have to miss any school.

4. Synchronize Calendars. Get a copy of your school's yearly calendar and copy all important dates into your planner- including days off, meeting days, end of nine weeks, etc. I even copy this to half sheet and put it in my planner (I do this although I homeschool so I know when cousins are off school so we can plan accordingly). While you're at it, schedule appointments on those days off. Are you going to be out of town any during the school year (or youth retreats, etc), go ahead and get those dates if possible- then you can prepare to get any assignments ahead of time.

5. Start A Morning Routine. At least a week before school begins start yourself and your children on a morning routine- getting up on time, eating breakfast, and getting dressed in a timely manner. This will let you know if you need to adjust your timing any and let your little one's bodies adjust better.

6. Stock Up On Snacks, Quick Breakfasts, and Quick Dinners. Us busy moms have so much going on this time of year that many things get forgotten. Make a note for every time you go to the grocery store to pick up some quick healthy snacks and breakfasts and some no-prep or freezer dinners. Your schedule will thank you later.

7. Create A Launch Station. Set up somewhere in a common area of your home (I find by the door or in the kitchen works best) for everything to get "dumped." Backpacks can go here too. In this place, you should have somewhere for lists, mail, keys, things to leave the house, etc. This makes getting out the door so much easier. Check out this pin board or some inspiration.

8. Set Up a Family Calendar. This could be a paper wall calendar, dry erase one, or photo frame with a calendar printable in it. It doesn't really matter the form, as long as it is visible to the whole family. Write important days like days off, recitals, and doctor's appointments here. This way, the whole family is on schedule and it is also a great way to teach your kids the importance of using a planner.

9. Schedule Something Fun. Look at your calendar and take a couple of the days the kids are off from school and plan to do something fun. Go camping, to an amusement park, spend the day at the lake, or even grill. This is a great way to break up the monotony of school with some "summer fun" in the middle.

10. Have Some Extra Fun. In these days before school starts back, have some impromptu fun with the kiddos and maybe even schedule something super exciting as a treat for the kids. We're going away for a couple days the week before.

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